College Volunteering

Special Notice: College Volunteer Opportunities

Blue Megaphone

July 2022: The volunteer program is still in the process of returning its active volunteers safely to volunteering. The timeline for when new volunteer applications will be accepted is undetermined. The website will be updated when the program can again accept new volunteers.

We appreciate everything volunteers do for our patients, guests and staff. We look forward to welcoming volunteers back and will update this page when the volunteer restrictions are lifted.

About College Volunteering

Who: Adults, 18 years of age and older, currently enrolled in college or technical school

What: Volunteers provide support to patients, families, and staff.  Some assignments have direct patient contact, other assignments are more supportive.  Volunteer assignments can include patient units, clinics, OT/PT, sibling clubhouse, Reach Out and Read, among others.

When: Assignments/shifts will be on the same day/same time each week, typically 2-3 hours in length.  Weekend and evening positions are limited. Schedules can be changed as class schedules change each quarter/semester, provided there are openings.

Where: Primarily at the hospital’s main campus, although some assignments are available at Primary Care Centers or Close to Home locations.  Attendance is very important, so please consider transportation when considering if this is a good match for you.

Cost: Volunteer uniform is $23, plus tax.

Commitment: Initial commitment of 50 volunteer hours

Onboarding Process: Prior to volunteering the applicant must complete:

  • Complete the online application during an application period (see chart below)
  • Reference checks
  • Interview/Information session—a review of program expectations, the onboarding process and specific information about available volunteer openings
  • BCI and/or FBI Background check
  • Individual health appointment
  • Provide copy of vaccination record
  • Tuberculosis blood test
  • Flu shot (required during flu season)
  • COVID-19 vaccine required 
  • General hospital orientation (electronic or online)
  • Training for specific volunteer position

Application: We currently are not accepting new volunteer applications. Please continue to check the site periodically for opportunities. Below is a schedule that gives you an estimated timeline of our onboarding process. Please allow 6-8 weeks from the time of submitting your application to your actual start date.

When To Apply

Application Volunteering Schedule
Apply in January Begin volunteering by April
Apply in March Begin volunteering by June
Apply in May Begin volunteering by August
Apply in July Begin volunteering by October
Apply in September Begin volunteering by December
Apply in November Begin volunteering by January

We know college students are in a variety of situations, yet still want to volunteer. Please check to see if one of these scenarios matches your situation.

Going to college locally and staying in town for the summer.

Great! You are available year-round. Feel free to apply during any application period.

Going to college locally but leaving Central Ohio for the summer.

Please apply in July. We want to make sure you have enough time to apply, get trained and volunteer for the minimum service requirement. 

Going to college out of town/state but home in central Ohio for the summer.

Welcome Home! We appreciate your desire to help. Please apply in January or March as we need time to process your application and have you attend orientation. The placement opportunity for summer college students is in our Alliance Data Sibling Clubhouse. This area is extremely volunteer dependent and a great opportunity for volunteers. See information about the Clubhouse.

If you are available to volunteer past the summer, we would be happy to discuss other volunteer opportunities with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read our frequently asked questions for potential college volunteers.

I want to shadow or observe. I need those hours to apply to a professional program.

Shadowing, observation, and internship hours are scheduled through the Education Department. Call (614) 355-0678.

Do you have volunteer assignments in every department? I plan on majoring in "X" and want to get experience there.

We respond to the needs of the staff when placing volunteers. If a department has requested a volunteer, then that is where we place them.

I volunteered as a teen. Do I need to complete another application?

Yes, if you have not volunteered in more than one year. Please call or email for more information.

I have a long holiday break and I would like to volunteer at that time.

Thank you for thinking of Nationwide Children's Hospital. We know some breaks can be 4-6 weeks or longer. If you have volunteered with us before, contact us prior to your break and let us know your availability. You may need to complete some paperwork. If you have never been a volunteer, this just isn’t enough time to get through our process. Please plan on starting at the beginning of the school year or in the summer, then we would welcome you back during your breaks.

What are the uniform and dress code requirements to volunteer?

Volunteers are required to purchase and wear a uniform while volunteering. If financial hardship exists, arrangements can be made to get a uniform at no charge. In addition to the uniform polo or vest, volunteers must wear their name badge, long pants (no jeans) or knee-length skirt, and closed-toe shoes. Artificial/gel nails, visible tattoos and facial piercings are not permitted.

I need a letter of recommendation to apply for a school. If I volunteer in an area with these professionals, can I get someone to write me a letter of recommendation?

This is at the discretion of your volunteer liaison. When volunteers are assigned to an area, the staff is in no way obligated or expecting to write a letter of recommendation. Hours of service can be provided as a record for you.